I'm now ready to do that. Tomorrow is my last day at Eastwick, and following the convention of other transitions in my world, I’ve decided to announce my news on this blog. But the real news, if there is any, is that I'm starting a new business. I expect this to raise even more questions than I would have raised had I chosen to go to a competitor or a larger agency. (“A new kind of consultancy in the Valley? What is he thinking?"). But what I’m doing is taking the leap that many of my start-up clients have taken – going out on my own, with just one partner, starting with little more than a notebook of ideas, aspirations and -- thank goodness -- leads.
I arrived at this decision after exploring a couple of options. For some time, we looked at whether we could launch this new venture within Eastwick. But the business opportunities that excite me the most would be even more difficult to execute within the structure of an agency. I am hoping my new business -- launching in September -- will be the first multi-discipline communications consultancy intentionally built for the post-blogging economy. It will be a different take on PR -- and it will be broader than social media -- overlapping on disciplines that require different people, different ideas and, most challenging, a different business model. I plan to address all three.
Another reason to go out alone, and not to another agency: it would have been difficult for me to accept a role at another agency where I didn’t have a full vote at the senior management table. My partners at Eastwick -- Barbara Bates and Elaine Cummings -- are two of the most broad-minded, and forward-thinking agency executives in the Valley, and over the past four years they have given me a great deal of freedom to explore, ideate, and tinker with the new things I believe agencies need to learn and master. Truth is, it’s great to be a partner, and whatever I decided to do had to provide me with at least as much latitude as the people at Eastwick allowed me. I am proud to say that Eastwick will be my first client.
But just as important was the thing that drove me to Eastwick in the first place. I was attracted to the agency because of the culture, the reputation, and the people -- especially the young folks, who see Eastwick as a place to learn, experiment and challenge the mandate of PR. Again, I’m a start-up guy, and I’m most excited when working with small, emergent groups. Now that I’m ready to try something new, I’m happy to trade down.
Stay tuned -- when I’m back in business this Fall, I’ll have something new to talk about. But I’ll be sitting behind a smaller desk, I am sure.